A couple of Australian gents on this little blog entry. First we have the legendary pop troubadour Darren Hanlon. A man who can create a moving pop song about pretty much any subject. I’m a long time fan and therefore I’m really ashamed that it took me this long to write a few words about his new excellent album Where Did You Come From?. This is not his most instant album, but definitely a rewarding one. For example Letter From an Australian Mining Town is such a gorgeous song. Same can be said about the first single When You Go. I could marry the moment where Darren sings “you always take the madness when you go”. Where Did You Come From? is now out and available on Yep Roc in the USA and on Darren’s Flippin Yeah Industries in the rest of the world.
Ben Mason and his album She’d Need a Heart is a new favourite that just came out in early June, 2015. Ben used to play in The Smallgoods. I was somewhat familiar with them, but the first couple of solo albums had slipped through my not-that-good pop knowledge. It looks like Ben has also covered the whole Odessey & Oracle album by The Zombies. I have to listen to that one day, because it’s one of the best albums ever released. The new one was produced by a hero of mine Adam Selzer and also features a bunch of other favourite musician from groups like The Decemberists, Death Cab For Cutie and The Delines. However, this namedropping wouldn’t take me anywhere, if the songs and the record weren’t any good. No worries though. Ben Mason has written a really good album. In a way it takes me to the 60s orchestral pop or why not even baroque pop a’la The Left Banke, but somehow it still feels and sounds very modern. Perhaps that contrast is one of the things that makes it so captivating. There’s not an individual track that could perfectly capture the whole beauty of this record and I fully recommend listening to this from the first note to the last. However, to get you hooked, this is the beautiful title track from the album She’d Need a Heart.